Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What the heck are the Faroe Islands?

I know I asked myself that question. Please tell me I'm not the only one... The Faroe Islands are situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, halfway between Norway and Iceland. That last part explains how it landed on our itinerary as a cruise ship port. When you're going to Iceland, where else is "on the way", right?  It's right here...

Be honest. How many times have you noticed these islands on a map - or anywhere, for that matter?

Let's proceed into the Faroe Islands and on to Klaksvik, shall we? This was my first view of the islands. The little fishery circles fascinated me. 

As we got closer, you could see the fish jumping around in them.  

By this time on the cruise, we were becoming accustomed to mountains and fjords, but each country was unique in its topography. The Faroes allegedly have rain more than 260 days a year, and yet we had a clear day. Well, relatively clear. No rain - yay!

Klaksvik sits deep inside a sliver of waterway and is the largest city in the Faroes. It still affects me that people live in little places like this, but I can see the idyllic side of it. These residents of Denmark pay 50% income tax and have a 37% (!) HST (harmonized sales tax). That's the not-so-idyllic part.

As always, we spent a good part of the day walking the backstreets of town. I'll just share a few photos to give you a taste of life in the Faroes.

This gentleman, as many others we saw that day, was building a wind wall of hay. Hay is a huge crop in these islands. I loved walking among the locals and seeing how they really live. So often, when we visit, we're looking for "highlights", but, for me, the best things are the 'normal' things of the people and their country.

(note the roof of the house in the foreground...)

Some people like to be a little more remote. That's a hard concept for me in a place like this...

Around town, we found some interesting things. An odd statue, a war memorial with the Psalms (in Faroese), a business where one guy understands name recognition, and the fish hook...

 Ummm... I have nothing to say...

Psalm 103: 15-18

(Jordan said, "Bil had the right idea.")

(this one's for you, Michael Hatchell... You have always been a fisherman, and you hooked me long ago.)

The Christianschurch is a big draw here, because the church was the first one built in the old Norse Style. The high ceiling is excellent for acoustics (I, personally, like the little boat up there). It's dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Second World War. 

I would like to state, for the record, that I did not eat anything weird or wrong in this port. My ability to leave all my ethics behind has left, and I'm back on the straight and narrow. This is where I draw the line, friends. "Faroese Puffins are very common and part of the local cuisine". Nope! I hit up the grocery store and the bakery (as if  there wasn't any food on the cruise ship...).

Bye-bye, Faroe Islands.

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